Another of the holiday events that I will miss this year with the virtual CES show formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, will be Pepcom. It is a mini show within the show condensed into a big hotel ballroom where you can wander around and see a number of companies and their new products and talk to them about what is neat and new. Well, this month, they held their own virtual Holiday show and to my surprise, it worked out very well.
Let’s start with Jabra for example. From the main screen, you can meet the representatives, get a media kit and email them.
Then you can chat with them or join a live Q&A session via Zoom and also connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, and wherever else they might be doing social media. It worked great!
They begin with a video that shows you what is new with them, in this case headphones and earbuds, and you can talk one on one if you like.
So, what did I see I liked. And there was a lot to like including the Jabra Elite 85t Active Noise Cancellation ear buds.
I have used the Jabra smart phone connectors and must say, they were terrific. I could sit in a very noisy area and actually hold a conversation with someone on the smartphone.
The Elite 85t has an adjustable sound system that will allow you go from full ANC to full transparency mode with 11 levels of control that are all 3 decibels apart. I can’t wait to give these a go when ever I can travel again. And speaking of traveling, 5 ½ hours battery life and another 19 ½ in the case.
They also come with an App for your smartphone that allows you to make all the adjustments, and if you are like me, you almost instantly forget what all the clicks and taps do to the ear buds so that, I really like. Available soon for $229.
Next was Catalyst. I have always liked their waterproof cases for the iPhone and now they have a similar case for their AirPods Pro.
With their cases, I have taken pictures from the middle of rain storms, out on the lake, wading out to take close ups of boats, and on the famous Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls. With a long cord secured to your wrist or neck, never had to worry about losing it either. Highly recommended.
They have already announced their impact protection cases for the new iPhone 12 series and waterproof will come later. Take a look and see some of the cool videos they have on their website.
Next up for me was Belkin. I have long known Belkin for some great surge and power protection equipment but the company has expanded quite a bit into both products to protect your equipment and also into Linksys for networking. What they were showing off in the booth is a new WiFi outdoor plug connected to their App that allows you to set timers, turn devices on and off, and more.
But what interested me was what they were doing with WiFi6E that will be coming out in the spring. Faster speeds, new power options, better connection and the like. Should be exciting to watch. Below, three of us are talking to the Belkin folks.
Another company that is easy to miss unless you just focus on gaming computers is OWC which is short for Other World Computing. Makers of memory, storage devices, docking stations, cables and adapters, expansion equipment, and solid state drives; they have been doing this for 30 years. For someone wanting to upgrade a computer, this is a great place to start. You can check out their shopping portal here.
What was cool to see at Pepcom was their USB-C Travel Dock. A single cable connected to your laptop computer gives you five ports including USB-C, USB-A, an SD Card reader, and HDMI to connect a large monitor, and finally, a USB-C pass through power port with up to 100 watts of power. And it has the built in USB-C cable to plug into your computer or laptop. A great travel accessory as what is cool is the cable tucks away in the bottom of the dock for easy traveling. Available now for $54. You can also get their equipment on Amazon.
SanDisk has long been one of my go to companies for SD Memory, USB Flash Drives and even MP3 players not that long ago.
It is now part of Western Digital but they keep coming out with some very cool new products like the ibi that I reviewed back in March of 2020. You can read about it here.
What was new here is the Ixpand Wireless Charger Sync unit that is both a wireless charger and back up device for your smartphone. A QI certified 10W fast charger for Qi-compatible Samsung and Apple iPhones; and the ability to back up your photos, videos, and contacts just by setting your phone on the charger.
It includes the power adapter and a six foot cable and will even charge your phone inside your case. You can get it up to a 256GB capacity. Should be available in a couple of weeks starting at $99 for the 64GB model to $199 for the 256GB unit. From the Western Digital Store.
For $49, you get the two outdoor outlets, but also a built in USB charging port, connects to WiFi, and works with Google Assistant and Alexa. With the mydlink Smart Home App, you can control a number of different devices and appliances including the two ports on the Outdoor smart plug. For both Android and Apple devices. It allows you to schedule events and set timers as well.
D-Link is really branching out to different things connected to the home.
There were a lot of other companies to visit with and here is a sampling of some of the others.
Epson was there showing off a new lineup of the Eco Tank printers. You can see them and Shaq here.
Viewsonic had so many new items that it became overwhelming to see them all.
The press release was 69 pages long! 27 inch gaming monitors to home projectors, portable projectors, portable monitors, a projector with a Harman Kardon speaker built in, monitors with multiple USB ports, and some really cool stands.
I am still thinking about this 37 inch curved monitor.
And finally, for me, Western Digital.
Have been using their products for years and while the WD Black HD was my go to drive for years, they now have a full range of solid state drives to fill any need.
WD_Black is a new brand for them for high performance drives and what they have put together is just amazing. From NVMe SSD for blazing fast internal speeds to PCI type add in cards, they offer a serious speed upgrade to your existing or new computer.
If you have a laptop, take a close look at the D50 Game Dock SSD. It is a Thunderbolt 3 connection device (here is a good explanation of what Thunderbolt is) with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a DisplayPort, 2 USB-C ports, 3 USB A ports, and both audio and gigabit ethernet connections. And either 1 or 2 Terabytes of storage built in. Starting at $319.
Pepcom was terrific and there are still another 35 companies to explore. Happy Holidays to them as well!
More News Later.